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Working Hard to Get My Fill

BAILEY HEIT

STAFF WRITER

   One of the best feelings in the world is knowing
that you helped a homeless person eat for a
day or gave a child from a poor family a Christmas .
Pinewood students volunteer across the Bay Area,
whether through helping at a food bank or
tutoring students.

   Pinewood has set the minimum service requirement at 20 hours. While both junior high and high school students generally agree that this is a reasonable amount of hours, some students, like junior Laine Corfield, have a
different opinion.

   “I think people shouldn’t do community service to fulfill their hour requirement. I think people should do it because it is the right thing to do,” Corfield said.

   There is a wide range of opportunities for students
to combine what their interests and hobbies and
helping the community. Senior Oscar Fick, someone
who loves working with kids, has accumulated over
450 hours volunteering at children’s camps. Sophomore Nikita Takru created and developed a
program called “Code You Can” where she and
other volunteers teach children programming skills
like Java, HTML, and CSS. Junior Alexandra
Wendker volunteers at a therapeutic riding center in
Woodside where she assists handicapped children in interacting with horses.

   This school year, community service day was canceled due to the difficulty of finding organizations
that take large groups. Fick and Corfield feel
this day is beneficial in theory; however, pulling
weeds in a field is not something that makes a
huge impact.

   “It was kind of losing its value in that the organizations that take a large group is almost always weeding.
It was pretty boring. The point of enforcing
community service and making the day seem valuable
is kind of fading away,” activities director Jackee
Bruno said.

   Instead, Bruno has researched and shared optional
opportunities where students could choose what they
were interested in and what works best in
their schedules. He suggests areas like tutoring,
habitat restoration, cleaning up horse parks, and
shoe drives.

   Believe it or not, a member of the faculty reads each of the
service forms, inputs the information into Veracross,
and stores them just in case students need to
retrieve them at a later date. While no one will be hunted
down for not turning in their hours, those who do not will receive their just desserts. Community service is part of the graduation requirement, so if colleges look at whether a student fulfilled this requirement or not, a blank will show up. Some students compensate by lying about how many hours they
have done.

   Different schools around this area set different
requirements for their students. At Sacred Heart,
underclassmen are required to complete a combined 25 hours. At The King’s Academy, students
are required to complete 40 hours per year. On
the other hand, Mountain View High School, a
public school, does not require their students to
complete any service work; however, they offer clubs
that do service work.

   Sometimes it is easy to forget that everyone across
the globe is not as privileged as students at Pinewood. Community service gives you a chance to connect with people and communities of all kinds.

   “It is important for students to get outside the community and see what is going in other parts of their
lives so that they are not just in the insulated
environment of Pinewood. It is important to give
back and to be part of something bigger,” Dean of
Studies Laurie Wilson said.

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